Animal Planet Promo, Case study RIVER MONSTERS by PHD New York

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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency PHD New York
Released April 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Digital Media
Product/Service: TV SERIES
Media Agency: PHD, New York, USA
Group Account Director: Andrea Montano (PHD)
Strategy Director: Michelle Fegarsky (PHD)
Supervisor: Jakob Reich (PHD)
Supervisor: Julianne Shumko (PHD)
Senior Vice President Of Marketing/Animal Planet: Victoria Lowell (Discovery)
Marketing Director/Animal Planet: Jessica Latterman (Discovery)
Marketing Manager/Animal Planet: Sarah McMurdy (Discovery)
Group Account Director/Discovery Creative: Kelly George (Discovery)
Account Executive/Discovery Creative: Brittany Foye (Discovery)
Interactive Manager/Discovery Creative: Dana Russell (Discovery)
Vice President/Media Planning And Partnerships/Animal Planet: Lynne Stephens (Discovery)
Media Director/Animal Planet: Amanda Hoppe (Discovery)
Account Executive Media/Entertainment/Google: Julie Kohn (Google)
Display Account Manager/Google: Christina Garcia (Google)
Media placement: Discovery-Owned TV - Animal Planet, TLC, HD, ID, Fit & Healthy, Military, Planet Green, Science - 3/21/11
Media placement: Cable TV - A&E, MSNBA, History, Nat Geo, SyFy, TNT, Travel, TruTV, USA, ESPN2, Spike - 4/3/11
Media placement: Digital - Google Partnership, YuMe, Hulu - 4/3/11
Media placement: Print - AmNY Coverwrap - 4/6/11
Media placement: Print - Entertainment Weekly - 4/8/11
Media placement: Print - People - 4/11/11

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In the US, Animal Planet is one of 150 cable networks where the decision to tune-in is often last minute. The task was to bring in over 700,000 viewers to Season Three of River Monsters and tout a successful Q2 ratings period.

The people who watch River Monsters derive thrills from the shock, delight and horror in the “reveal” of underwater creatures. They love the thrill of going online and discovering “unknown and shocking” video content and sharing it with others. If Animal Planet could get them to sample the show and share it with others, they might hit their ratings goal.

The idea was to identify the single largest community of video sharing and use media to pull the target to an unexpected online destination about River Monsters. Once there they would immerse themselves in an entertaining, 35 second experience of Shock, Delight and Horror.

Creative Execution
What lurks below is only one click away. Carefully placed media was used as bait to draw YouTube fans to a central location where the series host and the latest batch of water-bound stars were introduced.

Prospects browsing Television, Entertainment and Outdoor content were intercepted with invitations to “click-through” to a central page on YouTube via search, mobile and display. There, they were met with an unexpected YouTube experience where River Monsters’ host, Jeremy Wade, crawls out of the video window and addresses the viewer. Within seconds, a slew of NASTY UNDERWATER CREATURES escape the video window as well, snapping, biting jaws and swirling spiny tails in the viewer’s face. Working in conjunction with Discovery Networks’ in-house creative agency and YouTube, an immersive, 35 second experience of Shock, Delight and Horror left viewers breathless, but thirsty for more. Using social media links, viewers were able to share the video.

Results and Effectiveness
Over 1.1m visits occurred within one week. Animal Planet knew they successfully created brand evangelists as nearly half of those visits (47%) came from social referrals.

Consumers were engaged with the content. Not only were there 930,000 video views, but the average time spent on the site was 3 minutes and 45 seconds!

All of this contributed to a massive 17% ratings increase for Season 3 versus the Season 2 finale, adding more than 200,000 viewers to the existing audience base of 760,000. Animal Planet became the #1 rated cable network on Sunday nights when River Monsters was airing.